Francis v. The Queen

Supreme Court of Canada – [1956] S.C.R. 618

Quebec Application of laws to AboriginalsInternational lawTaxationTreaties


This is a test case of the Mohawk to determine the application of article III of the Jay Treaty, signed by the British Crown and the United States. This article provides that the Indians should not pay duty fees when crossing the boundary with goods.

The Supreme Court rejected the application of the Jay Treaty, affirming that it must be ratified by statute in order to enter into force in Canada.

The Mitchell case, in 2001, complemented this decision. The argument made regarding Aboriginal rights of the Mohawk to cross the boundary without paying duty was not accepted by the Court.


Do Mohawks from the St. Regis Band have a right to exception from customs and excise taxes protected by the Jay Treaty or the Indian Act?

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